The American Coal Council hosted its Spring Coal Forum in Naples, Florida, this week where speakers underscored the importance of coal-fueled electricity to America and why the U.S. must invest in clean coal technology.
Robert Murray, CEO of Murray Energy Corp., told the large crowd in Naples that there would be “no environmental benefit” in the “deliberate destruction” of the U.S. coal industry.
Murray went on to applaud Roger Bezdek for his important study on the social cost of carbon. Bezdek, another presenter at the Spring Coal Forum, asserted that “coal is the fuel of the past, present and future.” Bezdek also highlighted the fact that “electricity is essential for human well-being” and that coal effectively meets this need.
Murray told the crowd that 89 percent of American Electric Power’s (AEP) coal assets that are already slated for closure, due to EPA regulations, were put online this winter to supply electricity and heat during the frigid polar vortex. The lessons learned from this winter make it abundantly clear that now is the wrong time to take such a vital resource as coal out of commission. This is especially true when you consider that coal-fueled power is more advanced than ever as the industry has reduced emissions by 90 percent since 1970 and will have invested $145 billion in emissions controls by 2016.
Instead of making progress on reducing emissions from coal-fueled plants, the EPA is effectively halting carbon capture and storage (CCS) from further development by requiring the commercial-scale use of this technology before it is ready. That’s why we were encouraged to learn that the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is taking action by launching an investigation into the questionable decision-making process by EPA that led to this untenable rule.
As I stated yesterday, for too long, the EPA has chosen to ignore the counsel of leading scientists and failed to come clean with American consumers about the true costs and consequences of its rulemaking. Instead of a reasonable path forward, EPA has proposed a rule that is unworkable and carries a high price tag for all Americans.
Take action by filing a comment with the EPA and ensuring affordable, reliable coal-based electricity.